BUSINESS

Canadian reporter talks gambling without mentioning terrorism once

TAGs: Ontario Lottery and Gaming

Canadian-Reporters-Talks-GamblingNot long after the Canadian province of British Columbia announced the launch of its government-run online gaming site PlayNow.com, the provinces of Quebec and Ontario confirmed that their provincial gaming bodies would follow BC’s lead. Others, such as Newfoundland and Nova Scotia, have toyed with the notion but ultimately rejected it. Still others are content (for the moment) to ride the fence and gauge their constituents’ reactions.

As each provincial government weighs in with its decision, there’s been no shortage of brain dead editorials written on the subject, many of them by longtime anti-gaming tabloid reporter David Baines. Predictably, columnists with little or no practical experience on the subject of online gaming have been spouting memes that were disproven a decade ago — online gaming produces umpteen dozen times the number of problem gamblers than land-based casinos; terrorists launder money via online gaming sites; online gamblers go to hell at twice the rate than land-based gamblers, yada yada yada…

So imagine our surprise when this editorial appeared in the Toronto Star. Sports writer Dave Perkins accurately frames the issue as one of balancing the personal freedom of citizens with the government’s desire to tap a fresh revenue stream. But Perkins goes further, suggesting that the Federal government amend the criminal code to permit single-game sportsbetting. As Perkins notes, ‘the gambling train has long since left the political station.’ The only question left is where those rails lead it.

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